Manufacturers od wearables rarely take into account the needs of women. There is a surplus of tough looking accessories with black rubber straps while the woman does not want to walk around every day with the same ring or the same bracelet. Slowly a change is happening, for example, with jewelry from businesses as Ringly and Cuff. Trellie is a relatively new business. Starting from spring 2015 they will bring rings and other jewelry in the market, which at first glance just look normal but you can expand it with smart functions.
At Trellie, the focus is initially on notifications: if a phone call or text message comes in, the ring will vibrate. The base is a block of 15 x 10 mm that you can put in different rings and bracelets. Via a mobile app, it can vibrate or light up the block, indicating that you are receiving a phone call or need to make an appointment. The company begins with a starter kit consisting of a silver or gold ring, the box with all the technology and a charger. That kit will cost between $100 and $130. Additionally, you can purchase additional accessories like bracelets for $35 to $50.
Trellie is trying mainly to distinguish from Ringly, a company that releases rings with built-in functions. In Ringly, you choose one particular stone, such as black onyx or pink sapphire. The rings are gold plated and cost between $195 and $260.
Trellie picks it differently: they started with a pendant that women can hang in their bag. With money from Kickstarter, they managed to sell 4,000 pieces. What the creators of Trellie soon found out was that it is not easy to sell accessories for women if you are two men from Kansas. It appeared to be smarter to link up with well-known fashion brands. That way Trellie can focus on technology and the fashion brands do what they do best: bringing it to the women of the accessories. The idea is to eventually bring 10 different accessories, each in four or five colors. It seems like a smart strategy: fashion brand Michael Kors has already indicated that they want to make wearables and could be buying the technology from companies like Trellie, without themselves having to invest money in development.
Cuff can do that too. They make bracelets and necklaces pendants that not only transmit notifications, but also can track your activities. The sensors are in a small block you put in a bracelet or in the hanger. There are several models that are somewhat timeless, but their black rubber and metal straps also have some boring look.
Yet there is always the risk that women see the Connected jewelry mainly as a gimmick. Just look at iPhone Cases: designer labels often run just one iPhone generation behind. By the time that iPhone 6 covers of Michael Kors and DKNY are in the store, the iPhone 7 is almost available and the fashion has changed again. In this respect, the idea of Apple to focus primarily on fashion conscious women with the Apple Watch is not a bad idea. For Apple, the Apple Watch is an important product, they are going to renew and expand each year. Also there is something else, wearables for women may not break through as hard: you want to put jewelry aside over time, as you’ve seen it, without you immediately throwing hundreds of dollars in the trash.